Trust and living on support

I’ve had the privilege of living on support from friends, family members and churches the past four years. I call it a privilege because being dependent on finances from other people is something that I learn a lot from and that teaches me to be humble in an area where it’s extremely easy for me to worry and to rely on me and my abilities and my effort. It’s part of my make up as a man that I want to make sure that I take care of my family’s financial needs. I want to provide for Jeannette. But these four years and many years to come there is very little I can do to provide for our needs. It’s simply not up to me, it’s up to God. If God wants me to get a regular job, he’ll tell me that, and I’ll do that. But for right now it looks like he wants us to continue to be dependent on support from other people.

Jesus had many things to say about worrying, and worrying is a big part of most peoples’ lives. And we worry a lot in the area of finances. Prices on food, apartments, gas, etc. are going up all over the world these days, and money is tight for many people, even in the rich Western nations. I can easily get caught in the circle of worrying, and it’s easy for me to forget that I never ever get anything out of worrying. Worrying never helps anything, it only helps to steal my sleep at night and it helps make me stressed and harder to be around for my wife and other friends. 

My grandmother said that there are 365 places in the Bible where God says “don’t worry” in one way or another. One for each day. I haven’t counted them, and I don’t know if the number is true, but I know that we do need daily exhortations to not worry. 

The opposite of worry is trust. When I don’t worry about finances, it means that I’m in a place of trusting God to provide for all my needs. Trust doesn’t come easy, and I believe that growing in trust is gonna be a life long project for God and me. He knows I am not very good at trusting. He also knows that my heart desires to trust him more. And he knows how to teach me through life’s circumstances and choices what it looks like to trust him more and more. 

The problem is that in the area of finances (and many other areas) it feels comfortable to rely on myself. I need to do it. I need to make it happen. It’s dependent on me. For many people around the globe the area of finances, financial security, pension, insurance policies, etc. becomes an idol. It becomes something we build our sense of security around. But the truth is that when we build our sense of security around something we do, we’re building our houses on sand. And at any time a storm can come and blow it all away. 

Living on financial support from other people that God reminds to give us money is wonderful in the sense that I’m forced to trust God. I’m forced to not rely on myself. I can’t force anybody to give us money. I have no guarantees that the people who have been supporting us this far will continue to support us. I have no guarantees that we will have more supporters and more support which we would obviously need the day we would have children. I don’t know how on earth we would be able to raise maybe four or five times as much support compared to what we have now which we would need if we had a family of five or six a few years down the road. 

I don’t have the option of saving up money to pay for all kind of expenses. We live from month to month, and already the next few months I can’t really see how we’ll be able to afford all the expenses we have connected to moving to America, Jeannette studying, paying our insurance on our car over there and paying the fees for the nine week internship focusing on Exchanged Life counseling that I will be attending this fall. 

I have no clue how we will have all we need for all those expenses. But I know that God is good. I know that God has been good and faithful towards us so far. I know we’ve never lacked anything. I know we’ve been able to go to amazing places these past four years. I know we’ve had enough money to be able to visit family and friends in our home countries. I’ve just seen how God out of the blue provided the money we needed to be able to buy a used car in America! He did that through a couple of people that I’d never talked to before. God showed them that they needed to give us money for a car, and so they did! Hallelujah!

The evidence is heavy on the side of: “God is good, he’ll provide and everything is going to be alright!”, and yet I find myself worrying these days. I find myself checking my web bank more than necessary hoping that some money will have come into my account. I know God is not disappointed with me or mad at me when I worry, but he encourages me to cast all my worries and burdens on him, and then he’ll – once again – show that he is God, and I’m not!

Torben – who even in days of worrying is already looking forward to seeing the cool ways God will provide for everything we need these next few months! God is good all the time! 

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